Writing a Research Proposal By Dr. Pearl Wattanakul Department of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Payap University Workshop on “Research Writing in ESL/EFL” at Room 1203, Yonok University What is research? Research is the systematic approach to obtaining and confirming new and reliable knowledge The Process of Research • The process is initiated with question or problem • The next step is to formulate goals or objectives to deal with the problem • The third step in the process is research design • The fourth step that is generating research results • Add, the last step is interpret results and draw conclusions Research Proposal Structure • • • • • • • • • • Title: Type of Research Research field Researcher Rationale/Significance or Statement of the problem Research Question / Hypothesis Purposes / Objectives of the Study Significance of the Study Scope and Limitations Definitions of Term Research Proposal Structure (cont.) • Literature Review • Research Methodology a) Research Design and Plan b) Population and Samples c) Instruments d) Data collection/ Procedure e) Data Analysis Schedule /Time line References Classification of Research by Purpose 1) Basic research: It is conducted for the purpose of theory development and refinement. 2) Applied research: It is conducted for the purpose of applying, or testing, theory and evaluating its usefulness in solving problems. 3) Evaluation research: It aims at facilitating decision making regarding the relative worth of two or more alternative actions. Evaluation involves questions such as the following: Is this program worth what it cost? Is the new experimental reading curriculum better than the former curriculum? 4) Research and Development (R&D): It aims at developing effective products to meet specific needs such as teacher training materials, or management system. 5) Action research aims at solving problems through the application of scientific method. Classification of Research by Method 1) Historical Research: It is conducted to study, understanding, and explaining past events in order to arrive at conclusion concerning causes, effects or trend of past occurrences that may help to explain present events and anticipate future events. Exp: Participation of Women in Higher Education in 1900-2009 2) Descriptive research: It is conducted to test hypothesis or answer questions concerning the current status of the subject of the study. Exp: A survey of teachers to determine how and to what degree they believe anxiety affects achievement. 3) Correlational research: It attempts to determine whether, and to what degree, a relationship exists between two or more quantifiable variables. It aims at establishing a relationship (or lack of it) or to use relationships in making predictions. Exp: A study to determine the relationship between scores on an anxiety scale and scores on an achievement measure. 4) Causal-Comparative research: It is conducted to examine the difference, or effect which is determined to occur or not occur. The cause is not manipulated; it has already occurred. The cause-effect relationships are at best tenuous and tentative. Exp: A study to compare the achievement of group of students classified as high-anxious and a group classified as low-anxious. 5) Experimental research: It truly establishes cause-effect relationships. The researcher manipulates at least one independent variable and observes the effect on one or more dependent variables. Exp: A study to compare the achievement of two groups- one group taught in an anxiety – producing environment and one group taught in an anxiety-reducing environment Steps in Conducting Research Research Problem 1) Selection of a problem “What is to be researched?” “Why does this research need to be conducted?” a) Identify a general problem area that is related to your area of expertise and of particular interest of you. b) Read different research studies and focus your research very specifically. b) Narrow down the general problem area to a specific, researchable problem. c) Get the most meaningful problem derived from theory. 2)Characteristics of a good research problem: a) It is researchable. b) It has theoretical or practical significance. c) It is a well-written statement which indicates the variables of interest to the researcher and the specific relationship between those variables which is to be investigated. 3) Include a title on your proposal a) Have the most important words appear toward the beginning of your title b) Limit the use of ambiguous or confusing words. c) Breaking your title up into a title and subtitle when you have too many words. d) Include key words that will help you in the future find your work. • Example: The purpose of the study is to investigate the effect of positive reinforcement on the quality of English composition. The variables: 1) positive reinforcement 2) good quality of English composition [The purpose is to see if positive reinforcement (the cause) influence the quality of composition (the effect)] Introduction: a) Statement of the problem should be accompanied by a presentation of background of the problem (information required for an understanding of the problem) including a justification for the study ( in term of its contribution to theory or practice). Exp: The introduction might begin with a problem statement. “The purpose of the study is to compare the effectiveness of teacher assistants and parent volunteers with respect to the reading achievement of Prthom 1 students” followed by a discussion concerning (1) the role of teacher assistants, (2) increased utilization of teacher assistants by schools, (3) the expenses involved, and (4) the search for alternatives, such as parent volunteers. The significance of the problem would be that if parent volunteers are equally effective, their use can be substituted for teacher assistants. Objectives of the research study 1. Link to the primary and secondary research problem 2. Clearly identify, briefly define and delimit the specific area, central ideas and concepts of the study. Review of the Literature “What has been researched on this topic before?” It involves the systematic identification, location, and analysis of documents containing information related to the research problem. a) Theoretical paradigm b) Research constructs c) Relationship between the variables In proposal , the literature review is brief and to the point. Research questions/Hypotheses A research question poses a relationship between two or more variables but phrases the relationship as a question; a hypothesis represents a declarative statement of the relations between two or more variables. (Kerlinger,1979; Krathwohl, 1988) Exp: Research question: Is there a relationship between students’ self-efficacy and their success in learning L2? Hypothesis: There is no relationship between students’ self-efficacy and their success in learning L2. Research design: Research Design is a plan for collecting utilizing data so that desired information can be obtained with sufficient precision or so that an hypothesis be tested properly Population • A population refer to all “members of any well-defined class of people, event, or object” who, for research purposes, are designated as being the focus of an investigation. • Specify who or what is your population. • If there are different components of population, clearly indicate it. Sample: Those individuals or event that are selected from the population to serve as the subject are known as the sample for a study. Sampling Design Process of selecting a number of units for a study in such a way that the units represent the larger group from which they are selected. Identify what type of sampling you use, which sampling technique you employ in the study, why you apply it to your study, and how the sample is selected. Indicate the size of the sample . Sampling and representativeness Sampling Population Sample Target Population Target Population Sampling Population Sample Types of Sampling • 1) Probability Sampling • The sample is a proportion (a certain percent) of the population and such sample is selected from the population by means of some systematic way in which every element of the population has a chance of being included in the sampleใ • 2) Non- Probability Sampling • The sample is not a proportion (a certain percent) of the population and there is no systematic in selecting the sample. The selection depends upon the situation. Types of Probability Sampling 1) Simple random sampling 2) Systematic sampling 3) Stratified sampling 4) Cluster sampling Types of NonProbability Sampling • 1) Accidental sampling/ Convenience sampling • 2) Purposive sampling : • a) Quota sampling • b) Judgment sampling Instruments 1) Treatment 2) Data collection instrument Identify the instruments you propose to use. If instruments have previously been used, indicate the previous studies to show reliability and validity of the instruments. Identify how to make the instruments valid and reliable for collecting data. Data Collection Outline the general plan for collecting data. Clearly state whether you are going to use primary or secondary data. Data Analysis Specify the procedures you will use and label them accurately. a) Preanalysis procedure: scoring procedures, tabulation and coding procedures, nominal scales, ordinal scales, interval scales, ratio scales. b) Descriptive statistics: graphing data, mode, median, mean, standard deviation, etc. c) Inferential statistics: standard error, the null hypothesis, test of significance (t-test, ANOVA),etc. d) content analysis, triangulation Time line 1.Research from different sources 2. Select a problem 3. Research Design 4. Research proposal 5. Construct instruments 6. Improve instrument 7. Collect data 8. Analyze data 9. Write research report J F MA MJ J x x A S OND x x x x x x x x x References • APA Style • MLA style Thank you for your attention.